Acclaimed Actor Forest Whitaker Becomes Investor in NBA Africa

The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced last week that Academy Award-winning actor and social activist Forest Whitaker has become a strategic investor with NBA Africa.

“I’m thrilled to become a strategic investor in NBA Africa as it plans to grow basketball’s presence across the continent,” said Whitaker in a written statement.

“The game of basketball is incredibly inspirational, and my decade working in Africa has shown me how sports can be a transformative method of helping to foster peace, as well as an economic engine for socio-economic development in areas of conflict. I deeply believe in the league’s commitment to youth empowerment and am so excited to work alongside the NBA Africa family.”

The NBA also revealed that New York Times best-selling author Dr. Dambisa Moyo has also joined NBA Africa as another strategic investor.

Moyo, born in Zambia,  is a global economist, author and international public speaker. She previously worked as a consultant for the World Bank as a research economist and as strategist at Goldman Sachs, and has written four New York Times best-selling books about macroeconomics, global affairs, and corporate governance.

“We are delighted to welcome Dambisa and Forest to the NBA Africa family,” said NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams.

“They are both accomplished humanitarians whose expertise, resources, and guidance will add tremendous value to our existing investor group. We thank them for their commitment and belief in our efforts to use basketball as an economic growth engine and as a vehicle to positively impact the lives of youth across the continent.”

NBA Africa handles the business affairs for the NBA and their interests in Africa. This includes the newly-formed Basketball Africa League (BAL), which includes the top 12 basketball teams from 12 African countries. Next year in March 2022, the BAL will tip off its second season.

Whitaker and Moyo join President Barack Obama as a strategic partner in NBA Africa.

Strategic investors in NBA Africa also include a consortium led by Babatunde “Tunde” Folawiyo, chairman and CEO of Yinka Folawiyo Group; and Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation (HFP), led by Co-CEO Tope Lawani. Additional investors in NBA Africa include former NBA players Junior Bridgeman, Luol Deng (South Sudan), Grant Hill, Ian Mahinmi (France; ties to Benin), Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Joakim Noah (ties to Cameroon).